Nigeria telecommunication providers increased their internet subscriber base by 7.88 million in the third quarter of 2020 (Q3 2020), according to the latest telecoms report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The total number of internet subscribers increased by 7.87 million (5.48%) in Q3 2020 from 143.6 million recorded in the previous quarter to 151.5 million subscribers.
Also, it increased by 28.3 million (23%) as against 123 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2019 (Q3 2019).
- As at Q3 2020, MTN held the highest internet market share with 42%. The total number of active internet subscribers for MTN was 64.35 million.
- Airtel followed with a market share of 27% (40.31 million), Globacom followed closely with a market share of 26% (39.13 million), while 9mobile recorded a market share of 5% (7.3 million).
- The four major networks recorded positive growths in the number of active internet subscribers when compared to Q2 2020. However, 9mobile lost some internet subscribers when compared to Q3 2019.
- Specifically, 9mobile lost 1.19 million internet subscribers between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020.
In terms of voice subscriptions, telcos in Nigeria increased their customer base by over 9 million in Q3 2020 compared to the previous quarter, while 26.1 million additional subscribers joined year-on-year.
- MTN Nigeria controls a market share of 40% as at Q3 2020, followed by Airtel with 26.9%, Glo (26.4%), 9mobile (6.2%), and others with a market share of 0.2%.
- Airtel grew its customer base by 5.3% (QoQ), followed by 9mobile, which increased by 5.1% in the same period.
- MTN increased its customer base by 4.9%, while Glo increased its customers by 3.2%.
What you should know
- The increase in the number of active internet subscribers across telco providers can be largely attributed to the increased usage of the internet by Nigerians due to the Covid induced lockdown, implemented by the federal government as a measure to curb the spread of the pandemic.
- During the lockdown, Nigerians were forced to work remotely, which necessitated the use of the internet as a means of communication in most corporate organisations.
- Nigerians also made use of internet video calls to communicate with their family members both home and abroad.
- The lockdown also saw the increased adoption of tech-related services in Nigeria, with a number of Edtech, Healthtech, Fintech, etc. being setup.
- Meanwhile, Nairametrics reported in December 2020, that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) instructed telco operators to block all SIM cards that are not registered with their National Identity Numbers.
- This could trigger a decline in the number of active subscribers in Nigeria, considering that many are still unable to register with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Based on the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), it is evident that Nigerian telcos recorded significant growth in 2020 despite the effect of covid-19 on the Nigerian economy.
Why Bitcoin might likely hit $100,000 soon
The 12-month BTC price forecast was more evenly distributed, though a majority of respondents see prices above $50,000.
From late February to the end of March, currency.com conducted a survey among its users to get their take on Bitcoin, which has skyrocketed about 1500% from where it was a year ago.
The Crypto exchange surveyed 1,572 respondents on their exposure, perspective, and outlook of digital assets. The crypto-asset platform revealed that about 20% of its customers expect the price of Bitcoin to hit at least $100,000 or above in the next 12 months. 54% of the respondents predict the price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency will hover at $50,000-$100,000 in the same period.
The survey also revealed that 2% of customers indicated that they already have $1 million or more stashed in Bitcoin. However, nearly 27.2% were sceptical about whether they can achieve this goal.
The 12-month BTC price forecast was more evenly distributed, though a majority of respondents see prices above $50,000.
Specifically, 40% keep in their portfolio not only Bitcoin, which makes up about 50% of the entire crypto market, but also altcoins.
When asked whether the firm believes the price prediction is accurate, Currency.com’s head of strategy, Vitaly Kedyk, said:
“Over the course of 2020, we have seen interest in crypto gain mainstream attention and validation following take-up by large institutional investors. We expect this trend to continue in 2021 with greater diversification across altcoins.”
Bitcoin believers already say that the biggest cryptocurrency has shifted from the fringes of retail speculation towards embrace by major investors. The total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies tops $2 trillion, mostly spurred by rising institutional demand. Bitcoin’s market cap makes up more than half of that figure and it is now worth more than $1 trillion.
That being said, a significant number of its users are also diversifying their holdings in the exchange beyond investing in crypto, into traditional financial assets like equities, indices, and commodities with a token that mirrors the value of each asset.
Banks earn N216 billion in digital banking income amidst threat from challenger banks
Nigerian banks raked in a sum of N216.52 billion from their e-business earnings in the year 2020.
Nigerian banks raked in a sum of N216.52 billion from their e-business earnings in the year 2020 as tier-1 banks popularly known as FUGAZ (First Bank, UBA, Access Bank, GT Bank, and Zenith Bank) topped the list of highest earners.
Income from digital channels is also classified as electronic business or banking income by the majority of commercial banks. Nairametrics gathered this research from the audited financial statements of 12 of the leading banks in the country. The same banks reported N217 billion in income from digital channels in 2019 dipping marginally by 0.24%.
- Banks attribute the reason for the drop in 2020 compared to 2019 to the revision of fees and charges for electronic transfers by the central bank in early 2020.
- On January 1st, 2020, the CBN ushered in a new regime for bank charges. While these mostly affected things like card maintenance fees, charge for hardware tokens it also affected the amount that can be paid for electronic transfers.
- For example, a graduated fee scale for electronic transfers replaced the current flat fee of N50 such that transfers below N10,000 now attract a maximum charge of N10; and transfers above N50,000, N50.
- USSD fees also got a cut a few months later announcing that customers will pay a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction every time they use USSD services with effect from Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
- The Covid-19 pandemic also played a major role in bank performance as it affected the expansion of the digital rollout plans earlier on in the year. However, the pandemic will swing in their favour as Nigerians increasingly relied on mobile banking for transactions while avoiding banking halls for fear of contracting Covid-19.
Banks and Digital Channels
Banks in Nigeria have increasingly resorted to generating income from digital channels such as their mobile applications, USSD channels, and online banking targeting Nigerians from all works of life. Efforts at increasing revenue from digital channels have been supported heavily by the Central Bank through initiatives such as BVN, POS, and other banking policies driving financial inclusion.
While the apex bank’s policy was aimed at reducing the number of unbanked in the country, banks have seized on the opportunity to offer a wide range of services that have increasingly provided an alternative source of income. According to NIBSS, the total value of electronic transfers for 2020 topped N158 trillion in 2020 a 50% growth when compared to 2019. Transaction volume also rose to 2 billion up 77% when compared to 2019.
Rise of Challenger Banks
Banks will face stiffer competition in 2021 as Challenger Banks such as Kuda Bank and V-Bank are more capitalized having attracted significant funding in recent months. These banks offer zero fees as an attractive selling point which they hope will sway customers from the big commercial banks who have long started monetizing their platforms.
Challenger Banks typically earn money from other sources such as providing bespoke services wrapped around savings and investments with their customers. Thus, rather than rely on digital revenues earned from fees and charges per transaction, they earn by actually engaging in the business of banking, lending depositors funds, and investing their free float.
Here are the top earners in 2020:
Apart from Access Bank, UBA, and FBNH, all the other banks posted year-on-year declines. For example, Zenith Bank and GTB recorded a 36% and 25% drop respectively.
However, Access Bank and UBA both recorded an increase of 56% and 14% respectively topping N56 billion and N44.2 billion respectively. Access Bank is now the largest bank making money from e-business income having topped FBNH which posted N48 billion from E-business income, the highest in 2019.
Fifth position – GT Bank (N11.77 billion)
Guaranty Trust Bank, the most capitalized financial institution listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange generated a sum of N11.8 billion from its e-business unit, accounting for about 5.4% of the total e-business revenue in 2020.
- Its e-business revenue declined massively by 24.85% compared to N15.66 billion recorded in the previous year.
- The bank, however, posted a profit after tax of N201.44 billion in 2020 (second only to Zenith Bank), representing a 2.33% increase compared to N196.85 billion recorded in 2019.
Fourth position – Zenith Bank (N27.08 billion)
Zenith Bank earned a sum of N27.08 billion from its e-business in 2020 to stand fourth on the list behind UBA.
- Its income from e-business accounted for 12.5% of the total income generated by the twelve banks. Zenith Bank’s e-business income witnessed a huge plunge of 36.3% in 2020 compared to N42.5 billion it recorded in 2019.
- However, Zenith Bank posted the highest profit of N230.6 billion in the review period, growing its profit after tax by 10.4% from N208.8 billion recorded in 2019.
Third position – UBA (N44.25 billion)
UBA retained its position in third place with a total e-business revenue of N44.25 billion, accounting for 20.4% of the total e-business income generated by the banks on our list.
- UBA recorded a 14.14% increase in its e-business revenue in 2020 compared to N38.8 billion recorded in the prior year.
- UBA has also intensified its effort to build on its 2020 success by releasing a new mobile banking app, which aims to improve the ease of transacting by their customers.
- The tier-1 bank posted a profit after tax of N113.77 billion in 2020, representing a 27.7% increase compared to N89.09 billion recorded in the previous year.
Second position – FBN Holdings (N48.68 billion)
First Bank lost its first position to Access Bank, having increased its e-business revenue marginally by 1.35% to stand at N48.68 billion in 2020. Its e-business revenue accounted for 22.5% of the e-business income recorded by the twelve banks under consideration.
- Despite being one of the oldest banks in the country, First Bank has been at the forefront of the mobile banking revolution.
- The bank was one of the pioneers of the USSD platform which is used to transfer money via a text messaging application of a mobile phone and has continued to create products within the electronic space.
- For example, in November 2020, First Bank launched a Next Generation ATM, referred to as FastTrack ATM, designed to eliminate the need for physical interaction with the automated machine.
- This was as a result of the need to reduce physical contact with people and substances, due to the covid-19 spread in the country.
First position – Access Bank (N56.09 billion )
The largest bank in Nigeria by total assets toppled First Bank, Zenith, and UBA to occupy the first position with e-business revenue of N56.09 billion in 2020.
- Access Bank was in the fourth position in 2019 but catapulted to first as it grew its e-business income by a whopping 55.64% from N36.04 billion recorded in the previous year.
- This increase also translated to a 12.71% growth in profit after tax to stand at N106.01 billion in the review period from N94.06 billion recorded in 2019.
- Access Bank does mention that its E-business income includes earnings from its Channels business.
The increase in its e-business revenue is no surprise as the tier-1 bank spent a sum of N18.7 billion on IT and E-business related initiatives in the same year, as against N9.7 billion incurred in the previous year and N11.39 billion in 2018, a move that clearly translated to a boost in E-business income.
According to a recent article published by Nairametrics, Access Bank stated that it created 4 million digital loans in the year under review and disbursed N105 billion loans through its digital lending platform, indicating a 48% year-on-year growth.
- FCMB – N8.61 billion
- Union Bank – N7.04 billion
- Sterling Bank – N4.97 billion
- Stanbic IBTC – N2.74 billion
- Wema Bank – N2.61 billion
- Fidelity Bank – N2.46 billion
- Jaiz Bank – N214 million
The disruption caused by the covid-19 pandemic plunged into the revenue generated by Nigerian banks from their e-businesses, however, they were able to make up for it from their multiple streams of income which translated to a general stellar performance from the sector. It is worth noting that only Access Bank, UBA, and First Bank recorded growth in e-business income in the period under review.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
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